Over the weekend, a federal appeals courtroom briefly suspended enforcement of President Biden’s vaccine mandate for personal employers. This got here shortly after the Biden administration set Jan. 4 because the deadline for firms with greater than 100 staff to get their staff vaccinated or begin common testing.
- Plus, Houston authorities examine that lethal surge on the Astroworld music pageant.
- And, the infrastructure invoice spends billions on broadband.
Friends: The Houston Chronicle’s Joey Guerra, Axios’ Tina Reed and Margaret Harding McGill.
Credit: Axios Right now is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The group consists of Niala Boodhoo, Erica Pandey, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Julia Redpath, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, Sabeena Singhani, Lydia McMullen-Laird, and Jayk Cherry. Music consists by Evan Viola. You’ll be able to attain us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be able to textual content questions, feedback and story concepts to Niala as a textual content or voice memo to 202-918-4893.
ERICA PANDEY: Good morning! Welcome to Axios Right now!
It’s Monday, November eighth. I’m Erica Pandey filling in for Niala Boodhoo.
Right here’s how we’re making you smarter immediately: Houston authorities examine that lethal surge on the Astroworld music pageant. Plus, the infrastructure invoice spends billions on broadband.
However first, the brewing tradition battle over vaccine mandates is immediately’s One Massive Factor.
Over the weekend, a federal appeals courtroom briefly suspended enforcement of President Biden’s vaccine mandate for personal employers. This got here shortly after the Biden administration set January 4th because the deadline for firms with greater than 100 staff to get their staff vaccinated or begin common testing. Axios healthcare editor Tina Reed is right here with us on why this struggle might get even uglier now. Hey, Tina.
TINA REED: Hello Erica.
ERICA: So Tina, have we reached a tipping level with vaccine mandates lastly right here. Who’s pushing again?
TINA: So, that is clearly already been a very huge struggle in America. However with this particular deadline, this has sparked a variety of completely different lawsuits, 15, uh, so removed from the states led by GOP governors. Nevertheless it has even sparked some criticism from Kansas’ governor who’s a Democrat. So we’re undoubtedly seeing some, some actual sturdy pushback. And I’d count on to see extra within the coming weeks.
ERICA: And what about celebrities? I imply, Aaron Rodgers is, is, is getting concerned right here too, proper?
TINA: So Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the Inexperienced Bay Packers was requested at first of the season if he was vaccinated, he had responded, I’m “immunized,” quote unquote. Nicely, he is form of turn out to be this huge, you recognize, foil for the worker vaccination mandates. Uh, however this all form of goes again to this larger query of: What are employers required to do with the intention to preserve staff protected? And the way are staff in the end going to answer that?
ERICA: So — the Biden administration’s mandate applies to firms with greater than 100 staff. We’re speaking about two thirds of the workforce right here. How is that this enjoying out in numerous sectors?
TINA: So there’s been many massive employers, resembling Disney, Citigroup, AT&T, United Airways, which have had their very own vaccine necessities they usually say compliance has been excessive. We have additionally seen just a little little bit of pushback in sure areas, the place vaccine hesitancy is excessive. However we have nonetheless seen in the end, that makes it a really small variety of the workforce. So, lots of people would say mandates are working. Nevertheless, not all people is impacted equally. And so we have now seen pushback from sure segments of the business and sure areas of the nation the place firms are going to get hit more durable.
ERICA: So we have got that January 4th deadline developing, however some states have had deadlines for vaccination come and go already. Are staff that do not get vaccinated really getting laid off in these circumstances?
TINA: We’re seeing that, in some circumstances, individuals are shedding their jobs or selecting to depart. Um, we’re additionally seeing a variety of locations which have prolonged deadlines, or they’ve actually tried to work with staff to determine what their considerations are, their hesitancies are and work with them to attempt to work out how they’ll get them vaccinated, and entertaining, um, medical and spiritual exemptions. I’ve heard just a little bit extra liberally than maybe they’ve with earlier vaccination mandates. So individuals are shedding their jobs, however employers are doing quite a bit to guarantee that they do not go away.
ERICA: Tina, what ought to we look ahead to between now and January 4th?
TINA: So there’s one other federal requirement developing on November twenty second, which addresses 1000’s of federal staff. And I additionally assume we ought to be watching what occurs at Thanksgiving if we’re speaking about cultural wars. That is the place it will play out — is over our Thanksgiving tables. So I’d say … be careful. [laughs]
ERICA: Tina Reed is Axios’ healthcare editor and writer of the Axios Vitals e-newsletter. Thanks Tina.
TINA: Thanks, Erica.
ERICA: We’ll be again in 15 seconds with what we do and don’t find out about Friday evening’s lethal music pageant.
ERICA: Welcome again to Axios Right now. I am Erica Pandey. Authorities in Houston have launched a prison investigation into Friday’s lethal crowd surge on the Astroworld Music Pageant. A minimum of eight folks had been killed and dozens extra had been injured after 1000’s of concert-goers pushed in the direction of the stage the place rapper Travis Scott was performing. Joey Guerra was on the pageant Friday evening. He is additionally a music critic on the Houston Chronicle and joins us now. Joey, thanks for being right here.
JOEY GUERRA: Thanks a lot.
ERICA: So Joey, what have we realized in the previous few days about what occurred Friday evening? Do we all know who’s liable for this tragedy?
JOEY: I feel that is one of many questions that, you recognize, goes to take a very long time to really reply. There have been a variety of rumors, a variety of accusations, you recognize, this was an enormous crowd, 50,000 folks in whole. I feel all through the day, which was supposed to enter the subsequent day that acquired canceled, the method to get in was very streamlined this yr. It was quite a bit simpler.
There was a variety of safety. There was much more open house. Travis Scott’s crowds are identified to be huge and aggressive and rowdy. So, you recognize, they needed to know given his historical past that this was going to occur. So I feel they had been ready.
I imply, In accordance with the police chief right here on the town, you recognize, 300 police on the grounds and, you recognize, over 200 safety guards. So there was a giant presence. I feel it is simply the best way this occurred and the place it occurred particularly, which was, you recognize, proper within the entrance, within the thick of all the things. It was actually onerous for anyone to get there rapidly. It simply created, I feel a really distinctive, unlucky scenario the place no one actually knew what was happening until they had been a part of what was occurring.
ERICA: What concerning the headliner of the pageant Travis Scott, how has he responded?
JOEY: Travis posted a black and white video on his Instagram tales saying that, you recognize, he all the time units out to present his followers a optimistic expertise and that if he sees anyone in misery, he’ll all the time cease and assist them out. And that he wasn’t conscious, you recognize, and that he’s working with authorities, cooperating with authorities.
ERICA: And what concerning the organizers of the pageant? Have they responded?
JOEY: Dwell Nation who put collectively this pageant who’s put it collectively up to now has not responded. I do know the Chronicle has reached out to them, however we have heard nothing from them as of but.
ERICA: And also you mentioned you had been there Friday evening. This was your first huge present since, since COVID as a music critic. As somebody who goes to so many of those live shows, how are you processing the occasions of that evening?
JOEY: It is actually troublesome as a result of after I form of stopped for a second and give it some thought, it does not really feel actual. I imply, I did not know this was occurring or that this had occurred till I acquired residence that evening and was beginning to write. That is after I came upon that this complete factor.
ERICA: Joey Guerra is a music critic for the Houston Chronicle. Thanks Joey.
JOEY: Thanks a lot.
ERICA: The $1.2 trillion infrastructure invoice is lastly headed to President Biden’s desk. One slice of it’s the $65 billion allotted for top velocity web entry and affordability, Axios know-how reporter Margaret McGill has been monitoring this subject and is with us now. Hey Margaret!
MARGARET MCGILL: Hey, Erica. Thanks for having me.
ERICA: So Margaret, is that this a giant deal? Is that this some huge cash for broadband entry and the place’s it going?
MARGARET: The federal government has been placing cash towards constructing out broadband right here and there for many years. However I feel that the $65 billion is the most important funding that I can consider in current reminiscence. And the Biden administration actually thinks that that is what it will take to get near 100% linked. Uh, this cash goes to cowl principally constructing out high-speed web networks and likewise serving to folks afford paying for service. In order that they’re going to get a giant chunk of it, 42.45 billion will go to grants to states. And so they can form of decide what’s the most effective use of that cash, whether or not that is constructing out networks, doing higher information assortment, even serving to out on the affordability facet. So the states have a variety of flexibility in how they need to spend this cash. However then there’s additionally one other 14.2 billion, that is going to form of high up a brand new program that started throughout the pandemic, which gives low-income Individuals with principally like a reduction on their month-to-month web invoice.
ERICA: And, and your reporting has proven that the pandemic made web entry much more essential than earlier than. Do we all know how many individuals are nonetheless fighting their connection proper now?
MARGARET: The Biden administration estimates that there are 30 million that do not have the entry that they want, to, uh, take part in principally each day life on-line. Um, I do know from a nationwide nonprofit, they estimated that 18 million households do not have broadband as a result of they can not afford it. And the factor concerning the digital divide that it’s a must to bear in mind is it is each a problem of accessing the bodily infrastructure, so in some rural areas the place you do not even have an web supplier, however then additionally ensuring that individuals who have entry can really afford the service. So there are several types of digital divide and this invoice is supposed to deal with each of these.
ERICA: Margaret McGill is a know-how reporter for Axios. Thanks for becoming a member of me, Margaret.
MARGARET: Thanks for having me, Erica. I respect it.
ERICA: That’s all we’ve acquired for you immediately! I’m Erica Pandey in for Niala Boodhoo – thanks for listening and we’ll see you again right here tomorrow morning.